Nov 12 2015

Six In The Morning Thursday November 12

Sinjar battle: Kurds in offensive to retake Iraq town from IS

Kurdish forces in northern Iraq have launched an offensive to retake Sinjar, a strategic town near the Syrian border, from Islamic State militants.

The campaign is supported by air strikes by the US-led coalition.

Recapturing Sinjar would effectively cut off the supply line between the IS strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul.

When the town fell to IS last year, tens of thousands of people from the Yazidi religious minority were trapped after fleeing up Mount Sinjar.

Hundreds of men were killed and thousands of Yazidi women and girls captured and used as sex slaves.

The attack on Sinjar was one of the reasons the US began air strikes against IS positions in Iraq in August 2014, amid a warning of genocide.

It expanded its air campaign into Syria the following month.

Yazidis, whose religion includes elements of several faiths, are considered infidels by IS.


Apple store accused of racial profiling after video shows staff ejecting black students

Staff member recorded saying security guards wanted group of six teenagers to leave Highpoint store because they were worried ‘they might steal something’


A group of black teenagers was told to leave an Apple store in Melbourne because staff were worried they “might steal something”.

A video of the interaction between a Highpoint Apple store staff member and a group of students was uploaded to Facebook on Tuesday night.

The six boys from Maribyrnong College were denied entry to the store by a staff member and two security guards.

“These guys [security guards] are just a bit worried about your presence in our store. They’re just worried you might steal something,” the Apple staff member says in the video.

A member of the group replied: “Why would we steal something?”

Many comments on social media say it was a blatant case of racial profiling.


Students are tweeting #BlackOnCampus to expose racism at US schools


A string of racist incidents have caused pain and outcry amongst the black students and faculty members at the University of Missouri.

On Monday, President Tom Wolfe resigned after one student’s hunger strike, the Missouri Cougars football team’s boycott and the growing number of demonstrations across campus.

Now, with more threats to black students emerging on social media — one white student was arrested off-campus after making threats on YikYak promising to shoot every black student at the university— folks on Twitter are reminding the Missouri student body that they aren’t alone.


Sweden to set up border controls for migrants

Swedish authorities plan to impose temporary border controls to help the country cope with ‘record’ numbers of refugees, its Interior Minister says. The minister has also urged EU countries to take ‘responsibility.’


The intended measures would apply to the key Oresund bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark, as well as ferry terminals in southern Sweden where many asylum seekers arrive from Germany, the minister said on Wednesday.

“A record number of refugees are arriving in Sweden. The migration office is under strong pressure… and the police believe there is a threat against public order,” Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman told reporters.

Border controls would go into effect on Thursday for a 10-day period, and might be extended, according to the official.

Ferries traveling to Sweden would also need to introduce identity controls “as soon as possible.”

‘Crystal clear’ message to EU

Nearly 200,000 migrants are expected to arrive to Sweden this year, a heavy burden for a country with a population of 9.7 million people. Adjusted for population size, no other country in Europe is taking in nearly as many people.


Bugti willing to end militancy under conditions

Rejects reports about his return to Pakistan

November 12, 2015

LAHORE: Separatist Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti is willing to give up militancy if offered an acceptable deal, Baloch intermediaries pursuing the peacemaking mission told The Nation yesterday. Bugti wants fully empowered government figures, like National Security Adviser Lieutenant General (r) Nasir Khan Janjua, hold talks with him for this purpose, they said.

General Janjua had been commander of the Quetta Corps, also known as the Southern Command. He is called the peacemaker in Balochistan who laid the foundations of Pur Aman Balochistan plan in the restive province. He introduced the strategy of amnesty with cash reward to the separatist fighters and successfully managed the surrender of several key guerilla commanders of Brahamdagh Bugti’s Balochistan Republican Army (BRA) and other militant factions. Many of the top and second-line militant leaders trust General Janjua as a man of his words.

Guitars Over Guns reaches at-risk youths with music


Chad Bernstein says involving students in an after-school music program hones their problem-solving skills and creative abilities – and keeps them in school.

Several years ago, accomplished musician Chad Bernstein was invited by a friend who worked at a juvenile detention center to lead a workshop for some of the youths there, presenting music as a positive alternative.

“We went in and started talking to them, but realized that they were very difficult to get through to,” Mr. Bernstein recalls. “When we started to play, we could tell based on their body language and their reaction that it was a very concrete way of reaching them. It was obvious that music was able to open doors that were previously locked.”

That power of music to reach and inspire youths drives the work of the Guitars Over Guns Organization (GOGO), founded in 2008 by Miami-based Bernstein and his father, Bob, a financial professional in Chicago.

The objective is simple: Provide at-risk youths with the opportunity to learn how to play music, training that due to tight budgets is rapidly diminishing in schools. The father-son duo also wanted to better organize some of the mentoring that members of Suénalo, the Miami band of which Chad was a member, was providing in the local community.